Chocolate Banana Bread

I will openly admit, I’ve always been a Nigella fan and I don’t care what people say. Her cookbook How to be a Domestic Goddess was one of the first books I bought for the house when we moved into it 5 years ago. It ended up igniting a passion for cooking and is one of the most used books in the house. My favourite recipes from it have to be the brownies and banana bread. The banana bread being totally fail safe and, I think, the first recipe I cooked from it. Even me, a chronic recipe fiddler, sticks very closely to her recipe as it’s so good.

Well I say I stick to the recipe, with baking recently I’ve been cutting back on sugar. As much as I love baking I surprisingly don’t have a sweet tooth. Offer me a chocolate bar of bag of crisps I will unashamedly take the crisps. I don’t like sweeteners for various reasons so prefer to use the real thing, but use less of it. With the majority of cakes you can cut back on the sugar as much as 50% without ruining the cake. Of course this won’t work with food like jam and meringues where the sugar is essential.   Now I make the majority of things we eat from scratch the biggest thing I’ve noticed is how over-sweet the majority of shop-bought cakes and biscuits are. So much so I can no longer eat the once-loved chocolate digestive as I find it tooth-achingly sweet. This banana bread certainly doesn’t lose anything from the sugar being reduced as so much sweetness comes from the banana and sultanas. If anything it brings out the rich chocolate taste. One thing I will say is that the banana does have a tendency to sink to the bottom in this cake, but don’t worry as this gives it a delicious gooey fudgeyness.

Chocolate Banana Bread
based on Nigella Banana Bread recipe

100g sultanas

75ml dark rum

150g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

125g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

4 (300g) ripe bananas, mashed

50g chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Place the sultanas and rum in a bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.

2) Preheat oven to 170°c then grease or line a 2lb loaf tin.

3) Mix the melted butter and sugar together until well combined then beat in the eggs one by one followed by the mashed bananas. Stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla and sultanas

4) In a separate bowl mix together the remaining dry ingredients then carefully stir into the wet ingredients. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the cake passes the skewer test.

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

25 thoughts on “Chocolate Banana Bread

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  • Petit Filoux

    (June 11, 2010 - 7:23 am)

    Hmmm this looks very tasty! I might have to make sure I save a few bananas next week!
    Nigella, well yes, I guess some people might dislike her but I have to say, all the recipes of hers I’ve tried have been pretty amazing. Although you have to try and forget how much sugar/ cream/ butter she puts in everything!
    And I’m with you on the sweet thing, crisps all the way!!

    • Jules

      (June 21, 2010 - 3:40 pm)

      Her baking is certainly treat baking and not for people shy of butter.

  • Naomi

    (June 11, 2010 - 3:41 pm)

    I love this banana bread, and totally have to agree with you on the banaba bread and brownies being the best recipes. I’ve not really fiddled around with the recipe that much, apart from leaving out the rum as we don’t really have it in the house, and it’s always turned out lovely.

    I’d definitely have the chocolate bar over the crisps though!

  • Mary

    (June 11, 2010 - 7:48 pm)

    Wow, this looks so great! A must try for sure!

    xxMK
    Delightful Bitefuls

  • eggscreamandhoney

    (June 11, 2010 - 9:46 pm)

    I totally love Nigella. I can’t understand how anyone couldn’t. Her recipes work! That makes a huge difference. I love this banana bread too. Your adaption looks interesting. Chocolate and bananas is always a great combo.

  • Gloria

    (June 12, 2010 - 7:44 am)

    Love the look of this cake. I am not a big fan of Nigella’s image but the Domestic Goddess book is one of the best baking books I have. I think she is a great journalist and gatherer. There’s an almond cake in the book I’ve made many times which you beat marzipan into the mixture and it has 6 eggs and ends up amazing eggy georgeous. You’ve encouraged me to get the book out again.

    • Jules

      (June 21, 2010 - 3:41 pm)

      I’ll have to look up the recipe as I adore marzipan.

  • Chele

    (June 12, 2010 - 12:16 pm)

    I’m going to have to steal this recipe – one can never have enough uses for browning bananas in the fruit bowl :0)

  • JillyMac28

    (June 12, 2010 - 1:16 pm)

    This is one recipe my family asks for again and again. Instead of the chocolate chips I roughly chop a bar of dark chocolate, so you get lovely gooey bits in it.

  • beth

    (June 13, 2010 - 11:37 am)

    I’d have crisps over chocolate any day. HTBADG is the only Nigella book I don’t have.

  • suzi

    (June 13, 2010 - 2:42 pm)

    Looks scrummy!

    Nigella’s ‘How to Eat’ was one of the first cook books that got me interested in food, baking and cooking in general when I was about 17. I have to admit, I’ve not looked at it properly in a while – I really should revisit the world of Nigella recipes.

  • food4two

    (June 13, 2010 - 8:49 pm)

    Yum, this looks delicious, I’ve made a note to try this soon.
    Question though: I’m really interested in the reducing sugar thing. I don’t like recipes too sweet either, but when you reduce the sugar in a recipe do you need to up the quantity of dry ingedients or does it work by just taking it out?

    • Jules

      (June 13, 2010 - 9:01 pm)

      From the experiements I’ve been doing you don’t need to top up the dry ingredients. It just seems to work.

  • Katie

    (June 13, 2010 - 9:08 pm)

    Mmmmm, this looks so delicious!!! Definitely going to try this soon.

  • Pen

    (June 14, 2010 - 11:16 am)

    For those that don’t have rum in the house, I’ll often soak the fruit in tea as an alternative.

    And I am a Nigella fan. Well a Nigella recipe fan, less so of the pouting and licking of fingers.

  • the caked crusader

    (June 22, 2010 - 1:43 pm)

    Have to confess that I didn’t like Nigella for quite a while but then 100% changed my mind – still not mad keen on the OTT coyness and cutesy stuff but love her attitude to food and her recipes are great. She writes really well too.This recipe looks divine.
    I think my problem is that my answer to the question “do you prefer sweet or savoury” can only honestly be answered with “BOTH!!!”

  • Percy Pig Cakes « Butcher, Baker

    (November 25, 2010 - 2:24 pm)

    […] and styling them I don’t particularly enjoy eating them. I’d much rather a slice of banana bread or carrot cake. Now if only I could make these type of cakes prettier and more presentable. I made […]

  • Top Cookbooks « Butcher, Baker

    (December 9, 2010 - 9:43 pm)

    […] out many cookbooks since releasing this one in 2003 but it is still my favourite. The brownies and banana bread from this book are the […]

  • rl schulte

    (December 13, 2010 - 11:53 am)

    Who can give me the measurement chart for grams . This Old Texas boy has a problem with it. Man! that cake looks great i hope i can duplicate it. The boys out on the back 40 will love this cake and a good cup of fire side coffee.I would appreciate a come back on measurements . thanks you all.

  • Monkey's Fist Sailing

    (January 4, 2011 - 1:54 pm)

    I just made this for a friends birthday, it worked amazingly and was very moist. However, that may have been because I used 110ml of rum, and it was Mount Gay Vintage :D

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